Here at Philip’s Diamond Shop, we make rings for people every day. It’s not uncommon for us to be working on all kinds of weird projects, but it is particularly exciting when someone comes in and has an extra challenge for us. This was just the case not long ago when we got a call from Chicago. The caller was panicked. She had recently been working with another jeweler to make a wedding ring based on her grandmother’s ring and after seeing how far off the other jeweler’s designs were, she didn’t know if she’d be able to get the ring made right and made right in just one month’s time. Despite being in Chicago, she’d heard good things about Philip’s Diamond Shop and was hoping that we could make her dream of a ring to match her grandmother’s ring a reality.
We’ve built a many many rings that need to match other rings, we’ve built and rebuilt antique-style rings before. The challenge here wasn’t in building a ring to match the grandmother’s ring, but in that we didn’t have the ring in our hands to measure and work with. Instead, we had only photos of the ring to look at and guess general dimensions and sizes from. Take a look at a few of the photos we were working from below and see what we had to start out with:
Recreating a ring like this was not going to be easy! Not only did we need to recreate the intricate patterns on this ring, but we needed to modify it to accommodate a larger center gemstone, a beautiful blue sapphire. It wasn’t just design that needed to be recreated but also custom hand engraving. We’re particularly well-suited to this as we now have a full-time on-site hand engraver! Not something you’ll find at many other jewelry stores in the country.
As we talked over what we were about to do we looked over the images from the other “custom jeweler” that had tried to recreate the ring. You can see in the images below that the other jeweler left plenty of room for the ring to be sent out for hand-engraving, but wasn’t able to recreate the shape of the ring at all. It, unfortunately, more resembled a men’s ring or giant class ring than an antique engagement ring.
Our challenge was laid out: We had less than one month to deliver a ring that replicated the look of the grandmother’s ring with a large blue sapphire in the center. This included all of the design work, casting the ring, setting gemstones in it and recreating the hand engraved details around the ring.
Were we up for it? Absolutely. Custom design is what we do! After being one of the very first jewelry stores to embrace CAD/CAM design and manufacturing, we’re pretty good at this sort of thing by now. There’s a reason that jewelers from all over the country call us when they need quality custom design work done. Not only that, but with a hand-engraver right here in the store, we would be able to get all of the work done, from design to casting to setting to engraving, all right here in the store and with time to spare.
After taking measurements and examining the lines and shapes in the ring photographs, our expert CAD modeler, Chad Little, built a model for the customer to see.
As you can see, the model is considerably trimmer than the other design shown above. The Philip’s Diamond Shop model shown above was quickly approved and we set about cutting a wax model and casting the ring. From there it was on to our jeweler, Dave Jacobson, to set the gemstones and polish the ring to get it ready for some hand engraved finishing touches from our hand engraver, Mitchell Lurth.
Our customer was overjoyed and loved the finished ring. We were overjoyed that she was overjoyed (we were also overjoyed at how great the ring turned out!) The ring was all that she’d been hoping for from the beginning of her quest. Not only that, but it was done in plenty of time before her wedding!
Do you have a design idea you’d like to have made? Come in and see us and see what we can do for you. It doesn’t matter if you’re from down the street or across the country. We’ve been helping people realize their jewelry dreams for almost 40 years, maybe it’s time to realize yours.